Better than Manna


50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh,which I will give for the life of the world.”

You may have heard someone say that something was, or is, “the best thing since sliced bread.”  I suppose that for many it was a great thing when the stores began selling pre-sliced bread.  However, store-bought bread was not something I looked forward to when I was a boy.  My grandmother was a great cook and baker.  I will never forget how wonderful it was to have fresh, hot bread right out of the oven!  It smelled heavenly and tasted like nectar!  It had body to it and did not stick to the roof of your mouth like the store-bought bread often did.

Our lesson for today is about something so much better than grandma’s bread, despite how amazing it was.  Can any old bread compare with the “living bread from heaven?”  In fact, Jesus shows how much greater He, as the living bread, was than even the “manna” the Jewish forefathers ate in the wilderness for forty years.  I would urge you to go back and read the whole of the 6th chapter of John’s gospel. The verses we are emphasizing came about because of the discussion that took place after Jesus fed 5,000 plus people with two small fish and five small loaves of barley bread.  There was a “do-it-again” attitude by some and a grumbling by others over Jesus’ statement that He came down from heaven.  This all led to His declaration that He was the Bread of Life.

So, Jesus was not just a babe in the manger.  He was and is the Bread of Life.  He is “living bread.”  Many families have special “Christmas breads” that are only made at this time of the year.  Perhaps this devotional will bring greater meaning to those of you who have that tradition and may cause some of you to start one for yourselves.  Is Jesus the Bread of Life for you and yours?

When you lift up your prayers today, consider how God provided the “Bread of Life” for you this Christmas. Express your thanks for, and to, Jesus as you feast with your loved ones this year.



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